Imperial Players

A friendly local drama group

The dramatic society was started in 1965 by Roger Mitchell and Helen Towers.

From the start, we have been connected with the Chislehurst Methodist Church although membership is open to all who are interested in amateur dramatics.

At that time, the Church was beginning to build a new hall and other facilities on the side of the church. The architect had designed the new building with the doors off the stage opening straight out into the car park as well as having a three-foot drop into the wings of the stage. Fortunately, my mother, who was a member of the church, was asked about her views on the design. The plans were changed and we now enjoy the use of a well laid out hall and stage for our rehearsals as well as performances.

The first production in November 1965, ‘The Trial of Joan of Arc’ was performed in the church as the hall was not yet finished. This was heralded in the press as a great success.  The first production in the newly built hall was ‘Festival Time’ in Oct 1966

In 1973 the Chislehurst Dramatic Society, formed in 1939 joined forces with the ‘Imps’ and became a strong society.

Since 1965 we have staged 94 plays of different types including comedy, farce, drama, thriller and religious.

In October 1974 a crest was presented to the society featuring the masks of tragedy and comedy and a bee which was the emblem of The Prince Imperial, son of Napoleon III (He had lived in exile in Chislehurst.)  Our motto is ‘Nocte Illa Bene Erit’  – ‘It’ll be alright on the night’.  The crest is still used today.

From time to time we have entered the Bromley Theatre Guild Full-Length Play Festival. In 2001 our production of Noel Coward’s ‘Blithe Spirit’ came joint second. In 2002 we won the competition with Peter Gordon’s ‘Generations Apart’.  We came second in 2005 with ‘Cemetery Club’, an American comedy.

Along the way, we have also won prizes for best director, sound, lighting and costume. We are particularly proud of our successes at the Festival as we compete against several much larger groups.

We are a small but friendly society that puts on two full-length plays per year and occasionally performs a one-act play in the summer.  We rehearse on Monday and Thursday nights currently at The Crown Inn, Chislehurst and on the stage where the plays are performed nearer to performance time.

In addition, we arrange workshops, theatre outings, barbecues, and other social events for members.

We are always keen to involve a greater number of local people and as well as actors we need lighting and sound technicians, set constructors, wardrobe and properties assistants. If you are interested but have no previous experience, training can be given.

If you are interested, phone Paul on 01689 829772, or turn up at one of our rehearsals.

Chris Towers
Former Chair and Founder Member